The dominant theme in fisheries management has been that privatization is necessary to avoid Hardin’s tragedy of the commons, whereas Ostrom and others have argued that community-based co-management can often achieve sustainability.
The advantages of co-management, according to the authors:
Photo by Petr Ruzicka, courtesy Wikimedia Commons
In light of stark realities—1 billion people depend on seafood for protein, yet a third of fish stocks are depleted—the researchers asked: Exactly what part of co-management works to save fisheries? Here’s what they did to find answers:
Photo by Thomas Tolkien, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
The authors write:
Our results demonstrate the critical importance of prominent community leaders and robust social capital, combined with clear incentives through catch shares and conservation benefits derived from protected areas, for successfully managing aquatic resources and securing the livelihoods of communities depending on them.
- Nicolás L. Gutiérrez, Ray Hilborn, and Omar Defeo. Leadership, social capital and incentives promote successful fisheries. Nature (2011) DOI: 10.1038/nature09689
Source: Mother Jones
It is important to ensure that our natural fisheries are conserved. The alternative, large-scale fish farm production may offset supposed environmental gains. Fisheries, especially oceanic fisheries, must be managed on a local, national and international level where co-operation between nations is essential. Unfortunately, certain countries send their fishing vessels to denude fisheries on the other side of the world. A current example are the Chinese who are scouring the east coast of Africa along the Mozambican coastline. Attempts to stop this illegal fishing have rarely been successful. This type of environmental crime should be publicized and offending nations should be pressurized politically and financially.
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